Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ginger Soy Curls with peppers, mushrooms, and onions

Ooh, my new Soy Curls have arrived! They are fresh, they are tasty, they are nice! Their best before date is well into the future, and it does make a difference. You may remember that I'd been cooking with Soy Curls two years past their best before date until now. Well, no more.

This dish is based on several recipes from the Stir-Fried Dishes section of Bryanna Clark Grogan's Authentic Chinese Cuisine, and man was it good. Did I mention that I love Soy Curls? Bryanna's original recipes call for slivered seitan, or tofu, or reconstituted textured soy protein chunks, and I think it would work just fine with any of them, but there is something about the texture of the Soy Curls in stir fries that is just so perfect.

One tip: have your sauce made and all your ingredients fully prepped before you start cooking—the cooking goes too fast to allow any chopping as you go.

Well, another tip: do use the sherry. You can really taste it; it's worth keeping a bottle on hand just for recipes like this.

Spicy ginger Soy Curls with peppers, mushrooms, and onions

1 cup Soy Curls
1 tbsp dry sherry

Cooking sauce ingredients:
1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch

For the stir fry:
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp slivered ginger
½ sweet red pepper, chopped
½ tsp red chilli flakes (or to taste)

1. Start the Soy Curls soaking in about 2 cups of hot water. They need about half an hour, as will the shiitake mushrooms, which you should begin soaking in another cup of hot water now. While they rehydrate, you can do the rest of your prep.

2. Stir together the cooking sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Cut up the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper and set aside. Have your cooking oil and chilli flakes handy. Get out a wok or large deep frying pan.

4. Squeeze as much of the soaking water out of the Soy Curls as possible, replace them in the now dry soaking bowl, and stir in the sherry. Thinly slice the mushrooms (save the tough stems and mushroom soaking water for stock) and put them with the rest of the stir fry vegetables.

5. When you're ready to start cooking, heat the wok on medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the Soy Curls and all the stir fry ingredients, cooking rapidly, constantly stirring, until the Soy Curls begin to brown and the onions are turning translucent. You will probably need to deglaze the pan with a little water or white wine from time to time.

6. Add the cooking sauce and continue stirring and flipping until the sauce thickens and clears. Serve immediately over rice or noodles.

I also made Bryanna's Zucchini with Ginger for the side. She's put the recipe on her own site, along with a lot of other great zucchini recipes. I used my vegetable peeler to peel off long pasta-like slices. Yum!

Zucchini with ginger

1 lb medium zucchini
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup vegetarian broth
1 tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp roasted sesame oil

Cut the zucchini into 1/4" slices. Heat a large wok or heavy skillet over high heat until very hot, then add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini and ginger. Stir-fry one minute. Add the broth, soy sauce, and sherry. Stir-fry over high heat until the broth cooks down a bit and the zucchini is crisp-tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle with the sesame oil and serve.

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